Beginning to learn how to harness the power of your entire body for butterfly and breaststroke is much easier to accomplish when you’re not worrying about ANYTHING other than what you’re body is doing.
By sending your entire body under water, you take away the thought of breathing, and can completely focus on what your body is doing.
To experience the power of whole-body movement, this drill should be done not slowly, but with a bit of intensity. To further heighten the feeling of power, you may even want to put on some fins. With fins, you can feel the power wave as it flows from your chest to the hips, to the legs, and finally snaps through to your feet.
Why Do It:
Too many people swim butterfly by focusing on how they pull, or on how they kick. This drill can help you discover how to generate power with your entire body. Because the drill takes place entirely under water, it helps you focus completely on what the body is doing, rather than how you’re going to get to air.
How To Do It:
1. Hold your arms and hands in either a streamlined or non-streamlined position — either is fine. Begin by going completely under water, and keep your head directly in line with the rest of your body. Initiate a dolphin movement with your body, and don’t restrict your kick. Lead the movement from your chest ï¿½ your sternum — and allow the flow to move through your hips, and snap through your toes.
2. Thinkï¿½as the chest goes IN, the hips go UP. Some of the real focus here is loading the hips. Notice how Dave slightly arches his lower back as he presses in with his chest. The slight sway is his way of setting up the hips to drop down faster, and with more force. This begins the snap of the legs. As you practice this initially, focus your mind on arching the lower back, or tilting the pelvis upward just a bit, prior to your kick.
3. Make sure you finish your kick to full extension of the toes. As your feet kick down, feel the press of your chest again to begin the process all over. Try to direct your hands primarily FORWARD, and not just up and down.
How To Do It Really Well (The Fine Points):
Even though we show Dave doing this drill pretty quickly, you CAN start off a bit slower to learn the movement. By practicing this drill at a higher rate, however, you’ll be able to fine tune a bit more, and will be better able to feel HOW to harness power from your body.
Another fun way to REALLY feel the body working, is to do this drill with a Mono-Fin. As shown in the video, a Mono-Fin allows you to travel very quickly through the water. It does, however, demand that you engage your entire body in the process. If you donï¿½t use your entire body, you wonï¿½t be able to even MOVE the fin.
Of course, make sure you take your time between practice lengths, because the combination of no air and whole-body work can be taxing. Take a good, deep breath prior to starting, and even close your eyes to further isolate "feelings" rather than focusing on how fast, or how far you’re going. Enjoy this one, and take your time with it. Once you start to feel everything working together, you’ll really feel like you’re flying through the water.